Does Jerry Coyne read his own blog?

If he does, he might remember that he already wrote this blog post. That was less than a year ago. I responded then, so have little to add.

One thing is worth noting. Coyne’s complaint is that the government is funding “accommodationism” because one page on the award-winning and widely loved Understanding Evolution website addresses misconceptions about evolution, including the idea that evolution is at odds with religious belief.

Coyne is hardly the first person to think that this somehow gets the government in trouble (“funding theology” is his phrase). In 2003, creationist Larry Caldwell filed a suit on behalf of his wife, suing the NSF (for funding the website) and professors at the University of California (which runs the website). The couple alleged that the website “offended” them and caused further harm by making them feel like an “outsider.” They claimed that the website’s discussion of religious views on evolution violated the First Amendment by not discussing religious groups who set themselves at odds with evolution.

A state judge and a federal judge dismissed the suit with prejudice, saying that the Caldwells had not been harmed in a way that merited the courts’ time. If Jerry Coyne can’t be arsed to read his own blog, let alone to familiarize himself with the history of the issue he’s opining on, we can make the same judgment.


  1. #1 NickMatzke
    December 20, 2011

    Jerry Coyne can’t be arsed? :-)

  2. #2 Anthony McCarthy
    December 20, 2011

    It could be the intense competitive pressure on the new atheist blogs, if they don’t continually ratchet up the excitement of their fan base they will drift away to one that will. It’s a market that has a lot in common with hate talk radio.

  3. #3 Darth Robo
    December 20, 2011

    Jerry Coyne CAN be an…

    – oh. Never mind.

  4. #4 Childermass
    December 20, 2011

    I understand Coyne’s objection as I do that of the fundy idiot. But in the end, simply pointing out that most mainstream sects have made their peace with common descent is factual material. And if it makes it easier on teachers to have this pointed out, then I am all for it. Indeed presenting factual material related to the subject being taught is not something that one could really object to Constitutionally. (Of course I mean genuine factual material and the the fake “facts” of the creationists.)

    Now if the site says that you must accept the mainstream sects’ accommodation then it becomes a big First Amendment violation.

    Just present the facts and punt to parents, clergy, and the students’ own consciences on whether to accept the accommodation as the role of schools is not to produce atheists or believers of any particular sect.

    (For the record, I don’t think the accommodation of science and Christian theology makes much sense, but it does not change the fact that plenty of religious people including religious scientists do think it makes sense.)

  5. #5 Mike from Ottawa
    December 20, 2011

    Does Jerry Coyne read his own blog?

    I’m not sure Jerry can be blamed for not reading his own blog. It’s full of twaddle. Bad enough the poor man should suffer through writing it without having to go through the pain of having to read it too.

  6. #6 Ender
    January 19, 2012

    Wow. Reduced to conspiracy theories. I guess some NA’s are going the way of some Anti-vaccinationists and paranoid Illuminati types.

  7. #7 v-pills
    January 19, 2012

    I don’t think the accommodation of science and Christian theology makes much sense, but it does not change the fact that plenty of religious people

  8. #8 v-pills
    February 3, 2012

    yes i. Could it be related to why you are so pro El-Awady and caustic to Ayaan Hirsi Ali in this blog – maybe something to do with you actually believing the creator of the universe actually said what is in someholybook 4:34? And that someholybook is the single best book ever written?

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